Retro Emulator Now Translates Japanese On-The-Fly

Ever wanted to play those Hunter X Hunter games or other retro Japanese classics that never got a proper translation? Well, now you can.

The RetroArch emulator is already a hugely popular frontend for all kinds of arcade and classic console emulators, but it’s just gotten a banger of an update over the weekend. The latest version of Retroarch now includes AI Service, an add-on tool enabled by default that can translate Japanese text into English text or speech, if you don’t want the game pausing every few seconds.

It’s a great option for those ancient Japanese titles that don’t have fan translations of their own. But it’s not a one-way tool either: if you wanted to translate an English game into Japanese (maybe to practice the language?) or a language that hasn’t received an official localisation, Retroarch will do that too. “You can set the source and target language already. How well it works is up to the translation services being used,” the LibRetro account posted on YouTube.

The full instructions on how to get the translation service going can be found on the official LibRetro page. That’s not all the latest version of Retroarch has — a Switch version of the core has been included, for those in the homebrew scene, and there’s a ton of quality of life improvements for those emulating Commodore 64 systems and Amiga games. The full patch notes for those can be found here.

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